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Wildacres Leadership Initiative (WLI) and its flagship program the William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations are dedicated to training and supporting leaders so North Carolina can meet its most pressing needs in an inclusive, civil, and transparent manner.  To that end, a growing library of leadership materials is being shared on this web site and via the Friday Fellowship’s social media channels.

These articles, videos, blogs, and trainings are meant to open the doors of leadership development to all who wish to engage in civil discourse across our differences.

While social media makes some of these tools more accessible, it is also our hope that the model of using social media as a teaching tool and civil platform for engagement can begin to move online and in-person relationships to an ever more productive and fruitful sphere.

You are encouraged to review our previous posts on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ as we began curating leadership development materials in July 2017.

Linked below are some of those materials with a more complete description of how an item fits into larger leadership development training and community goals of WLI and the Friday Fellowship.  More materials will be added to this page, but keep up on social media for the latest Leadership Library links.


Peter Block is the author of “Community: The Structure of Belonging” a book which is on the reading list for the first seminar of the 2017-2019 Friday Fellowship.  In this series of YouTube clips, Block is interviewed about the 2008 book and his revised thinking about communities.  It is notable that the timing of this interview was with a local government group close to the height of the Great Recession.   

Peter Block interview Part 1

Peter Block interview Part 2

Peter Block interview Part 3

The book is still in print and available in many formats.


Former US Ambassador to South Africa James Joseph is an Emeritus Professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.  In 2012 he delivered the keynote speech at the International Leadership Association’s conference.  His observations about the need for effective inspirational leaders and a new leadership culture are as prescient today as ever.

James Joseph speech


“Coalition Politics” is a written piece by Bernice Johnson Reagon based upon a 1981 presentation she gave at the West Coast Women’s Music Festival at Yosemite National Forest.  In the plain language of a delivered speech, Reagon begins with a discussion of coalitions and comfort.  How individuals enter and what they expect when seeking coalitions may be more influential on the success of the coalition than the work attempted.             


Coalition work is not work done in your home… And you shouldn’t look for comfort. Some people will come to a coalition and they rate the success of the coalition on whether or not they feel good when they get there.  They’re not looking for a coalition; they’re looking for a home!

The written piece is available online.  “Coalition Politics” is on the reading list for the first seminar of the 2017-2019 Friday Fellowship.

A brief 2003 conversation with Reagon about crossing external difference and her own internal dialogue confronting her own comfort is available at this link


Otto Scharmer is a Lecturer at MIT, Tsinghua University, and co-founder of the Presencing Institute.   In 2015, he co-founded the MITx u.lab, a massive open online course for leading profound change.  He has delivered leadership development programs for corporate clients and is at the forefront of teaching change and leadership.

In this YouTube clip, Scharmer introduces listening as the key missing component of most failed leadership. 

He goes on to describe different levels and types of listening. 

Listening and re-learning how to listen is a key part of the Friday Fellowship and Friday Labs.  Developing listening skills is a continuing task and necessary for better understanding, communication, and civility.


The Cherokee Word for Water is a recommended film for the first seminar of the 2017-2019 Friday Fellowship class.   It is based on the true story of a 1980s rural community coming together to solve a seemingly insurmountable problem that threatened the heart of the community. 

When nothing had worked before, disillusioned people came together and made a difference. "My hope is...people seeing the film will say...if they can do it, we can do that." -- Wilma Mankiller

This first video link provides background from participants in the film and those from the community where the story is based.

The second link below is the trailer for the film.

The third link below is the web site for the film.


John McKnight is a co-author and collaborator with Peter Block (referenced above).  McKnight issued a call to action that included 4 questions for any community or any person that has a calling to bring people together for new possibilities in their lives and new action. 

The series of posts and links on the Abundant Community web site are foundational questions and reflections to be seriously considered and before the (re)building of community.  These posts are included in this library because of their vital importance to the building of trust and relationship upon which all sustainable action is founded.

Please read the "Getting Started" links here:


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